Brioni Bottled

By Jo Phillips

When a band’s first album is a rip-roaring world-class hit, where do they go from there? Is it the second album that is somehow lesser, never quite able to hit the heady heights of the first time around? But what then, when the second album soars past the first? This idea can be explored via the second outing of many a creative process. A restaurant, a fashion collection or architectural practice and even a scent. Meet the superstar that is Brioni’s newest fragrance a sublime example of second in line not being second best but the leader of the pack.

The Italian men’s fashion house Brioni’s first fragrance is, of course, a perfectly tailored formula that was bought to life in March 2021. An elegant scent opening with fresh ozonic accents fuzed with cool pink Peppercorn and crisp green Apple. Find warmth in its heart from soft powdery Violet that contrasts with the silky warmth of Ambroxan, a naturally occurring organic compound and one of the key constituents responsible for the odour of Ambergris adding a marine earthy note. Its base is a clean scent of naturally grown Cedarwood melded with Tonka bean and cashmere-soft Musk. Think of it as a woody floral wrapped in cashmere softness. Because this is after all Brioni the menswear brand synonymous with the most luxurious of fabrics and beautifully crafted items of attire.

But next comes the second hitter in their fragrance line and this is no shy follow on, but a scent so skillfully sew together, where layers are present, facets readily explorable yet melded to bring a decadent balance to the scent, meet Brioni Eau De Parfum Intense. This is Brioni Bottled.

In luxurious fabric terms, think of it as a ‘triple faced’ cashmere (A triple-weave is constructed utilising three interwoven layers) a top middle and base if you will.

Its first layer is a knitting together of luminous Italian citrus oils, peppery Bergamot and juicy Mandarin, stitched with aromatic pink Peppercorn; a bright opening with a sense ‘in the air’ of sparkling excitement.

But the blend really comes into its own in the heart where Patchouli wraps itself with Saffron which almost has a softly creamy element not sweet because of the light touch of green Apple. It is the heart of this fragrance crafted subtly that shows off true skill. These diverse notes aid each, balance each other yet at the same time bring out unexpected elements of each, making the centre very explorable and in ways understandable yet at the same time, so unexpected.

And how does the scent finally fall? Like a great piece of clothing design, it sits perfectly on the body because woven in here find Oud, Ambroxan and Vanilla perfectly balancing and weighting the other layers. A structured, strong base that never shies away from ‘a softness of touch’.

The individual ingredients have room to breathe yet it is the surprise of what they do when melded and fused with each and every note that makes this sent a step above most. The craft of the noses and the craft of the house were bought together in a bottle.

And the nose is a master in this art form, in fact, this scent was the creation of two noses, the master and the pupil meet together here. Michel Almairac was the nose behind the original Brioni fragrance and this time he partnered with his one time student Karine Vinchon-Spehner both of whom partnered directly with the house’s design director Norbert Stumpfl.

Michel Almairac as a perfumer has a very clear signature, one that always allows for the ingredients to breathe and therefore shine and this scent is a perfect example of just this. Known for his distinctly short formulas, fragrances made of fewer ingredients than many, the notes are the real heroes, as they can be almost ‘picked out’ yet it is the blending of such few ingredients that brings his signature skill so open. Karine Vinchon-Spehner worked with Almairac as his student fifteen years ago but her handprint is also evident with the scent via the careful intertwined, balancing of notes.

And as mentioned this is Brioni Bottled because the glass flacon itself is based on the strong shoulders built into a crafted Brioni suit. A well-dressed bottle that wears a satin label, inspired by the labels sewn inside Brioni bespoke suits, hemmed by a golden cross-stitching motif.

The brand has also worked hard also on embracing sustainability and has a good environment rating, understanding that work remains to be done. Their care is, however, evident in caring for the planet from their approach to this scent.

Man-made molecules produced by green chemistry are carefully selected from an eco-conscious perfumer’s palette. These are blended with sustainable natural materials, sourced by the Grasse-based fragrance house Robertet. The scent is free from artificial colouring, vegan, cruelty-free, and made in France.

The alcohol used is also natural, vegan and manufactured from agricultural ingredients such as beetroot and wheat. It contains no GMOs and has not been tested on animals.

Norbert Stumpfl Brioni’s Design Director held hands with the noses as the fragrance was created which was built with the House’s legendary tuxedos in mind, crafted, elegant, sharp and sensual tailoring explored via a perfume. He has said of the scent

Our new Eau de Parfum Intense explores the magical possibilities of a Roman evening, as the night starts
to unfold. It is a fragrance full of expectation and sensual fascination.”

As tailoring legends since 1945, Brioni’s opus had to encapsulate the utter luxury and refined, clean aesthetic of the brand, and it feels as though with these two noses and the design director they have wefted together a sumptuous elixir of nonchalant Roman chic; one that is definitely ‘top of the charts.

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